Don’t Let a Lack of Planning Derail a Great Event


The emotions associated with working in a PR agency and winning new business, and working for a startup and achieving a crowdfunding goal, are similar. Unfortunately, the euphoria associated with each of these events may disappear quickly if the foundation for an engagement plan isn’t already in place.

Winning new business is among the most exciting events for an agency. The team pours blood, sweat and tears into an opportunity, pitch their hearts out against other formidable competitors, and follow up with the prospect by developing and sharing even more ideas.

And then the wait. Tick-tock.

When the news is bad, we typically hear something like, “It was a really difficult decision. You guys were really great.  We know we would have been successful with you, BUT………” A phone call like this is quickly followed by the five stages of loss and grief, starting with denial.

When the news is good, it’s pure elation. You Like Me, You Really, Really, Like Me.  The team celebrates with beer and maybe bubbly, and everyone from the CEO to the CFO to the interns are excited and sleep like babies that night.

Then the reality of ramping up a new, important account and generating results early on so the new client doesn’t get second thoughts, sets in.  The elation about the “win” begins to dissipate as the team gets down to the work at hand. And without at least the foundation of a plan ready to go on day 1, the prospect of showing early returns on the new client’s trust and financial investment is diminished.

The same can be said for startups, many of which behave similarly with their crowdfunding campaigns, an industry that is growing immensely ($34.4B raised in $2015). These days, the goal for many crowdfunding campaigns is to set a fund raising goal that’s achievable in the first 24 hours, though the campaign itself may run for 45 days or more. When that initial goal is achieved, it’s champagne all around, a press release goes out, and the founders can hardly believe their good fortune.

But what happens in all-too many cases, when yet another amazing crowdfunding campaign is in the books,  the startup suffers the consequences of not having a post-event engagement plan at the ready.

Launching a campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo or Crowdwise is only one step of many contributing to a successful crowdfunding campaign. And it’s not even the first step.

Same goes for winning agency new business.  A new account, like a crowdfunding campaign, can fall off the rails for a broad range of reasons. Just don’t let a lack of planning derail either one.

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